Many oncologists, we believe, must be impatient to learn about the outcome of a first-in-class cancer drug based on epigenetics in upcoming oncology conventions. The drug tazemetostat was created and is being developed by Epizyme.
Epizyme (EPZM) is a clinical-stage biotech company having proprietary platform, which enabled it to identify and develop small molecule inhibitors of chromatin modifying proteins (CMPs), such as tazemetostat. CMPs, which are part of the system of gene regulation, referred to as epigenetics. This system controls gene expression. T is recognized that genetic alterations can result in changes to the activity of CMPs, which can allow cancer cells to grow and proliferate. By focusing on the genetic drivers of cancers, Epizyme’s science seeks to match targeted medicines with the specific patients that need it.
Epizyme’s pipeline has two programs in clinical trials and one program in preclinical studies. Its lead product candidate, tazemetostat is a first-in-class EZH2 inhibitor, with studies underway in both solid tumors and hematological malignancies. The studies include the use of the product as monotherapy and in combination therapy for front-line treatment and advanced, or recurrent malignancies. The combination trial is with an immunotherapy drug belonging to Genentech.
In the NEWS
On April 25, 2017, Epizyme announced that the FDA has granted its product tazemetostat Fast Track Designation for relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma, either wild type EZH2 or with EZH2 activating mutations. The other important news is that the interim efficacy and safety results of the Phase 2 study of tazemetostat in patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has been selected for a plenary session on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 2:00 PM at the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML) in Lugano, Switzerland.
Epizyme announced it will also present results from a biomarker study of tazemetostat in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in a poster session during the ICML meeting. Epizyme will hold a conference call to discuss the clinical findings on Wednesday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Prohost is excited to observe, listen and see all that will to said and demonstrated regarding tazemetostat’s Phase 2 results. Again, the mere reason for our eagerness is the fact that the drug is epigenetics and first-in-class targeting EZH2 for inhibition. The results would also give us what enables us to assess the capability of Epizyme’s scientists towards realizing the firm’s future plans. For years to date, scientists have recognized the fact that Epigenetics has the potential to play an important role in the management of cancer. Has this prophecy been materialized? That’s the answer we might be able to get following Epizyme’s presentation on June 14, 2017.
Tazemetostat is first-in-class EZH2 inhibitor, currently in trials for the following cancers:
– Relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL);
– Adult and pediatric patients with certain genetically defined solid tumors.
– A front-line combination study with R-CHOP
– Immuno-oncology combination study with Tecentriq™ (atezolizumab) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), which is the most common form of NHL.
All the above trials are in Phase 2.
A DOT1L inhibitor, is being evaluated in a collaboration with Celgene (CELG) for the treatment of:
– Pediatric MLL-r, a form of acute leukemia. (Phase 1 trial)
DRUGS IN DISCOVERY STAGE
Epizyme wholly Owned Drugs:
– Small molecule drugs against novel HMT and other CMP targets.
– By 2020, Epizyme plans to advance at least three new oncology programs into clinical development, and expanded our preclinical pipeline.
Drugs Under Collaboration
– Six small molecule oncology programs, including a potential first-in-class PRMT5 inhibitor with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
ON WALL STREET
EPZM is currently trading at $15.95.
Market Cap.: $908.39 M
52-week Range: $7- $18.50
Currently the most important information to gather now should be the lead firm’s product’s performance in Phase 2 trial. We will know in June 14, 2017.
Epizyme is using the state-of-the-art CRISPR gene editing tool, to accurately identify targets where there is a clear signal for selective activity in specific tumor types. This approach, in addition to Epizyme comprehensive library of tumor cell lines, is enabling the firm targets of high interest in cancer cancer.
There is a lot to be said and explained about epigenetics’ potential in enabling the creation of targeted treatments for cancer and other diseases. We will try to do this task in a way that lay people can understand, or at least to form an idea about the participation of methylation in causing cancer. There is a lot to explain about DNA methylation, its locations and concentration. Excessive methylated cancer cells cause genes that should not be silenced to turn off. This abnormality is said to be the trademark epigenetic change that occurs in tumors and happens early in the development of cancer. Hypermethylation of CpG islands can also cause cancers by shutting off tumor-suppressor genes.
These changes may be more common in human cancer than the DNA sequence mutations that we are currently increasingly depending on it for better understanding, diagnosing and treating cancers.
Some volatile moves that occurred in the biotech stocks should be attributed only to the rule of thumb, which dictates selling biotech stocks during the quarterly financial results regardless of any good fundamental news. Today’s decline in Kite (KITE) stock and others does not make Any sense following hearing the firm’s news about the near-term approval of its CAR-T cancer immunotherapy and the firm’s future catalysts and plans.
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